Introduction to Contract Courses

Honors Contract Course

Honors Contract Courses allow you to earn Honors credit in a non-Honors course through the completion of an additional project. These projects may vary depending on many factors including your major, the course content and whether or not the course is upper or lower division. For example, if you are a Marketing major, you might design a marketing plan for a social movement group that you learn about in your Sociology course. If you are a Performance major, you might choreograph a special dance related to the content of the course and then lead your classmates through it. As a Journalism major, you might write a well-informed and researched letter to the editor about a topic in your Genetics course. If there are multiple honors students in a single course, you might work with those students on an honors contract project set by your professor.

Steps to submitting an Honors Contract Course proposal

  1. Identify a course that you would like to pursue as an Honors Contract Course.
    • Any course can be an honors contract course as long your professor approves your request.
    • You can pursue multiple honors contract courses in a single semester.
  2. Ask your instructor to allow you to take the course for Honors credit.
    • If permission is granted, work with your instructor to develop a project.
    • *See email template below for an example of how to ask a professor
  3. Fill out the DocuSign contract proposal form
    • Note: It is extremely important that you enter all information (especially your instructor’s email address) accurately.
    • The deadline for filing the form is September 21 for the fall semester and February 21 for the spring semester. Summer session forms are due by the end of the first week of the class.
    • For Miniterm, Wintermester, and Summer terms, submit the Honors Contract proposal form by the end of the first week of classes.
  4. Await approval from the Honors College.
    • Upon approval of your project, you will receive an email with the subject line “Please DocuSign: Honors Contract Course Project Submission.” You MUST retain this message in order to be able to submit your completed project at the end of the semester.
  5. Once the project is completed, refer back to your saved email to access the DocuSign
    • Projects must be submitted by uploading a PDF file to the original DocuSign no later than 5pm on Prep Day.

Email template

Hello *insert professor’s name and proper title here*,

I am an Honors student and I am currently enrolled in your COURSE NAME.SECTION NUMBER. The Honors College offers the option of an Honors Contract Course which allows a student to earn an Honors designation for any non-Honors course. I am interested in earning an Honors designation through an Honors Contract with this course. Honors Contracts define additional honors work that amplifies the content and learning outcomes of the course. Some examples include: presenting course assignments at Wolf Pack Discoveries, writing a research paper, giving a class presentation, building on existing assignments, completing and discussing additional readings, preparing study guides for the class, or providing research assistance. Some Honors Contracts allow students to practice new skillsets or engage with new knowledge from their majors and minors, such as when Journalism majors write well-researched Letters to the Editor about a topic covered in the course, or when Marketing majors develop marketing plans for a group covered in the course. Do you already have a set Honors Contract project for this course? If not, may we meet to discuss an Honors Contract project, please?

Please let me know if you would be interested in allowing me to earn Honors credit for your course. If so, we would need to fill out a Docusign form and plan my project.

Thank you for the consideration. I look forward to hearing back from you.

All best,

*insert name here*

Examples of Honors Contract Course projects

Honors Contract Course projects offer an opportunity to be creative and innovative with course materials and learning outcomes. These projects can truly be anything that you and your professor agree on that amplifies your experience in the course. Here are some examples of Honors Contract Course projects:

  • Research papers, presentations, and additional assignments.
  • Presentation of course assignments at Wolf Pack Discoveries.
  • Weekly breakout discussions with the professor and all of the other honors students in the course.
  • Providing research assistance to the professor.
  • Creative interpretations of course materials including poetry, sculpture, painting, performance, and film.
  • Practicing major-specific skillsets with course topics such as Marketing majors creating marketing plans, Journalism majors writing press releases, pre-law students researching case law, Education majors developing teaching modules, and Biology students presenting on relevant biological systems and processes.

Introduction to Honors Contract Courses: DocuSign

To initiate the honors contract for a honors contract course, the student must utilize DocuSign. DocuSign is a single online form that transitions the contract from the initial proposal to instructor evaluation in a single workflow. The deadline to begin this process is October 1st for the fall semester & March 1st for the spring semester.

After discussing your proposed project with your instructor, you are now ready to initiate the DocuSign process. When you initiate the form, it is imperative that you enter your name and email address in BOTH the “Student” and “Student (Submit Project)” fields and your instructor’s name and email address in BOTH the “Instructor (Initial)” and “Instructor (Evaluation)” fields. Entering yourself and your instructor in multiple signing roles allows the form to cycle back to you so that you can submit your contract project and your instructor can evaluate it at the end of the semester.

If your instructor does not sign the form, the workflow will stall, and you will have to begin again. In order to complete the first step in the workflow, you must enter the course information and a detailed project description. You will also need an electronic copy of the course syllabus to attach to the form. You will receive automated messages from DocuSign as the form moves through its workflow.

Once the project is completed, refer back to your saved email to access the Docusign so that you can upload a PDF of your project and send it to your professor for a final evaluation.

Just as the Honors College will no longer send reminder emails to students who have submitted contract proposals, it will no longer send three reminder emails to instructors during Finals Week. Instead, instructors, too, will need to retain the automated DocuSign emails they receive in order to complete the workflow.

Once the project is completed, refer back to your saved email to access the DocuSign for the next part. You will receive an email close to the deadline for the semester from the Honors College, where you can submit your project, amount of Academic Experiences earned, and have yourself and your professor sign.

All signers will receive a copy of the completed form once the workflow is complete. The completed form will serve as your confirmation of the outcome of the contract.